Why we all need to socially distance - regardless of where you live!
Well, July has certainly been a month we would like to forget! The lingering impacts of coronavirus have seen soaring numbers and restrictions reinstated. We had hoped to avoid the second wave but alas, here we are! Whilst we are fortunate to live in the Macedon Ranges, I felt it would be a good time to further discuss why it's more important than ever to practise physical / social distancing.
Given this is a novel virus, we are still receiving data and statistics on how the virus works and the way it's transmitted. There has been some conflicting data from the WHO in terms of best practise however as we learn more, we have a better understanding of why we need to implement restrictions.
Typically, in an epidemic or pandemic, as more people are exposed to the virus, the number of new infections per day steadily increases until it reaches a peak and begins to drop. (let's hope we've hit our peak!!) To stop the pandemic, the number of new infections per day needs to drop to zero, or at least to a very low number, as quickly as possible. (source https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-new-study-shows-how-well-a-coronavirus-vaccine-must-work-before-we-can-stop-social-distancing-2020-07-15).
We've all seen the graphs depicting epidemiology of the virus and if you're anything like me, you wait with baited breath for the daily update on numbers! It's become common knowledge that second and third waves have occurred globally and historically we know that the second wave of the Spanish flue was far worse than the initial. What is positive about coronavirus in 2020 is that we have much better technology to trace and we are fortunate to live in a country with a very good health care system. Having said that, we can see that things can escalate really quickly!
What do we know about data relating to COVID-19?
- Data has shown that the proportion of asymptomatic people with COVID has been anywhere from 20-80% of the population. A huge variation and concerning that so many people can have a viral load without having any symptoms.
- On average, data shows that people don't show symptoms for up to 2-6 days from transmission. This means they can have a viral load and be contageous without knowing.
- Furthermore, the infectious stage begins two to three days before onset of symptoms. Data also shows that viral loads in the saliva are the highest in the week following onset. ****This highlights the need to stay at home if you feel unwell****
- Symptoms have been shown to vary greatly and may include sore throat, dry cough, feeling tired or even muscle aches. Some less common symptoms include loss of smell, diarhhoea and lethargy. In terms of fevers, some studies have shown that only 40% of people presenting to hospital have a fever however after a few more days, up to 80% develop a fever. This shows that fever is generally a later sign of COVID illness.
So why the need to stay 1.5m apart from others?
With many people having no symptoms and some having the virus but not yet displaying symptoms, you can see why we need to be hyper-vigilant right now and really enforce social distancing. Close contact refers to face-to-face contact for more than 15 minutes, or two hours or more within the same confined space with somebody with a confirmed case of coronavirus. This has been shown to really increase your risk of contracting the virus, which is why the premier has now said that if you cannot avoid this close personal contact to wear a mask.
I think we can all relate to the joy when restrictions eased, however "what’s been dubbed “social distancing fatigue” has now become a real problem as the worldwide pandemic continues and Australia sees a return in cases." (source https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-why-you-need-to-maintain-social-distancing/news-story/ca1bb0d0cb1bd6612696eefa613ddc7a)
An ABS survey has shown a drop off in social distancing over the past two months.
- About 70 per cent of people are avoiding using public transport compared to about 85 at the start of May.
- About 65 per cent said they were avoiding gatherings late last month, compared to nearly 80 per cent early May.
- There has been an increase, however, in people disinfecting surfaces before using them.
The experts say that: "The two things now that are going to make the difference is firstly testing, timing and co-operating, but fundamentally keeping up the personal distance, sneeze watching and hand washing.”
Whilst we can't change the past, we can all certainly do our bit to help Victoria move forward. We are very lucky to be able to still exercise and we're working diligently as a business to offer a safe place for you all to train. It will be a long time before there is any sharing of equipment but it's been fun coming up with new ways to train using your own apparatus.
This can be a challenging time for everyone, so ensure you check on each other and with community cohesion, we can get through this together, :)